Genre: Children’s Fiction
Darmani’s Ayisha is not an entirely new story in the sense that there have been many stories written about the theme(s) he explores, however, the author reminds us that the issue(s) is/are not all entirely resolved. Ayisha is a slim book of forty-seven and layered out in the traditional chapter format with titles.
The story revolves around Ayisha, a young girl of school going age but has not yet found her footstep into the classroom. She helps her parents in the house; doing house chores and assisting her mother sell goods in the market. It all happened that one day, she is doing house chores when she overhears her parents talk about her education. While her mother believes in education, her father does not. Ayisha’s father, for instance, says to her mother, ‘…You know it is a waste of time to send a girl to school.’
In the village of Naduri, it is believed that girls don’t go to school and that no girl has been to school before. Ayisha does not understand why her father does not want her to go to school until there is a revelation that she has been paid for by a man called Bukari so that when she is ripe for marriage, she would be given to one of the son’s from the Bukari family.
Ayisha’s life is threatened in the light of the agreement that had some time past ensued between Mr. Sumani (her father) and Bukari. Of course, as I noted from the beginning, the subject of the girl child education is not new and so is negotiating a child into early marriage at an unripe age. Ayisha’s story, I believe, still exists in some parts and corners of the world although in this 21st Century things are changing for the better and girls are being sent to school.
I always get so angry when I read about how women are not considered worthy of an education, no matter what time period or location the story takes place in. It’s wrong to marginalize anyone like that, and it’s an issue that I think that needs to be addressed in ways that it is sometimes not. This sounds like a very interesting book, and one that I might like to explore, given the chance. Fantastic review, by the way!
Sounds like a really important book, thanks for the review.
first, i see some changes here on the blog. nice touches. yes, i agree. The story is an old one, told many times over. It reminded me of a book I read in 2009, one of the first books to be reviewed on ImageNations: Cloth Girl by Marilyn Heward-Mills.
But you know I am not a fan of Darmani. Yet, I need to read the book that won the Commonwealth Award. Is it Grief Child?
Thanks, Nana. I felt same with the theme. With Cloth Girl, I had so many issues with the story but sometimes when you tell your mind and say things as they are, people turn to disagree with you. Yes…it is Grief Child. I think it won alongside Aidoo’s Changes.
I’m yet to read a Darmani. Why is Nana not a fan? Curious and spill the beans, please.
Hmm…! Nana should be the best person to explain. Cheers!